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Renal vein thrombosis

Blood clot in the renal vein; Occlusion - renal vein

Renal vein thrombosis is a blood clot that develops in the vein that drains blood from the kidney.

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Kidney anatomy
Kidney - blood and urine flow

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Causes

Renal vein thrombosis is an uncommon disorder. It may be caused by:

In adults, the most common cause is nephrotic syndrome. In infants, the most common cause is dehydration.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

Exams and Tests

An exam may not reveal the specific problem. However, it may indicate nephrotic syndrome or other causes of renal vein thrombosis.

Tests include:

Treatment

The treatment helps to prevent the formation of new clots and reduces the risk of clot traveling to other locations in the body (embolization).

You may get medicines that prevent blood clotting (anticoagulants). You may be told to rest in bed or cut down on activity for a short time.

If sudden kidney failure develops, you may need dialysis for a short period.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Renal vein thrombosis most often gets better over time without lasting damage to the kidneys.

Possible Complications

Complications may include:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of renal vein thrombosis.

If you have experienced renal vein thrombosis, call your provider if you have:

Prevention

In most cases, there is no specific way to prevent renal vein thrombosis. Keeping enough fluids in the body may help reduce risk.

Aspirin is sometimes used to prevent renal vein thrombosis in people who have had a kidney transplant. Blood thinners such as warfarin may be recommended for some people with chronic kidney disease.

Related Information

Blood clots
Tumor
Nephrotic syndrome
Dehydration
Renal
Arteriogram
Acute kidney failure
Pulmonary embolus

References

Dubose TD, Santos RM. Vascular disorders of the kidney. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 125.

Greco BA, Umanath K. Renovascular hypertension and ischemic nephropathy. In: Feehally J, Floege J, Tonelli M, Johnson RJ, eds. Comprehensive Clinical Nephrology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 41.

Ruggenenti P, Cravedi P, Remuzzi G. Microvascular and macrovascular diseases of the kidney. In: Skorecki K, Chertow GM, Marsden PA, Taal MW, Yu ASL, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 35.

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Review Date: 4/15/2019  

Reviewed By: Walead Latif, MD, nephrologist and Clinical Associate Professor, Rutgers Medical School, Newark, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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